Thursday, July 27, 2023

Caretaker setup: PML-N, PPP continue holding marathon talks in Dubai

Key parties of ruling coalition fail to reach consensus over name of caretaker prime minister

Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif (left) and former president Asif Ali Zardari (right). — Reuters/AFP/File
Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif (left) and former president Asif Ali Zardari (right). — Reuters/AFP/File

  • Consultations may be further extended into more rounds of talks.
  • Name of non-political figure comes under consideration.
  • Decision on interim PM's name to be finalised after talks with Fazl. 

DUBAI: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) bigwigs continued holding marathon consultations to finalise a caretaker setup for the country in Dubai; however, the parties couldn't reach a consensus over the name of the interim prime minister, The News reported.

The ongoing consultations may be further extended into more rounds of talks.

During the extensive consultations, various names for the caretaker prime minister were discussed, including a non-political figure from south Punjab.

However, a final decision could not be reached.

A two-hour-long meeting was held at a Dubai hotel on Monday night between former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and former president Asif Ali Zardari.

During the meeting, it was repeatedly emphasised that the caretaker prime minister should be a neutral and non-controversial figure to ensure that the election results are accepted by all. 

There was a strong emphasis on the need for a “capable and persuasive economist” to improve the economic system in the coming months.

The two leaders agreed that the economic downturn could have an adverse impact on the vote bank of political parties.

Sources who have knowledge about the ongoing discussions said that the decision regarding the caretaker prime minister would be finalised after consultations with Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) President Maulana Fazlur Rehman.

While some sources have claimed that Fazl was also in Dubai but his party has categorically denied the claims.

Sources have indicated that the discussion also encompassed economic emergency. Nawaz insisted on taking immediate measures for “economic improvement” so that some relief could be provided to people, but Zardari is adamant about adopting those measures after the elections.

The issue of postponing the elections for a period of six months was also broached. Still, both political leaders expressed their support for holding the elections to maintain the stability of the political system and improve the economy.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is also in contact with Nawaz regarding the caretaker prime minister's selection. He also consulted Fazl, who is also the chief of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), on some names for caretaker prime minister.